The popularity of a Dan Brown novel has nothing on Star Wars. As Evan correctly predicted previously, Sony Pictures has opted to shift the Inferno release date from December 18, 2015—opposite Star Wars: Episode VII—back nearly a year to October 14, 2016. Ron Howard returns to direct the third Dan Brown adaptation with Tom Hanks back in the starring role after 2006’s The Da Vinci Code and 2009’s Angels & Demons. The initial 2015 Inferno release date was set quite a while ago, so in reality the shift probably had more to do with scheduling rather than going head-to-head with Star Wars.
Howard only recently completed post-production on his upcoming historical drama In the Heart of the Sea, and filming on Inferno won’t begin until next April after Hanks wraps his untitled Cold War thriller with Steven Spielberg. Finishing Inferno by next Christmas would’ve been a very tight squeeze. More after the jump, including what Inferno’s new competition looks like on its new release date.
Sony’s new release date for Inferno now puts it squarely opposite Juan Antonio Bayona’s fantasy horror pic A Monster Calls and a week before the Andy Serkis-helmed Jungle Book: Origins. The pic will also open one week after Ben Affleck’s next directorial effort, Live by Night, which will likely be in the midst of an awards campaign. As Inferno vacates the December 18, 2015 weekend, that leaves only the Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy The Nest as Star Wars: Episode VII’s competition.
The story of Inferno finds Tom Hanks’ Robert Langdon once again attempting to solve a riddle, this time influenced by the first portion of Dante Alighieri’s 14th Century epic poem, The Divine Comedy. I found Howard’s adaptations of The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons to be a bit dull in relation to something like the National Treasure series, so hopefully Inferno lightens things up a bit.